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GERRARD SLAMS ‘UNFAIR’ SEMI DATE

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STEVEN GERRARD insists it will be UNFAIR to ask either Rangers or Celtic to play in a Betfred League Cup semi-final on a Saturday following Europa League games on a Thursday night.

The Ibrox side overwhelmed Championship outfit Ayr United 4-0 last night to set up a last-four meeting with Aberdeen, who beat Hibs 6-5 on penalty-kicks following a goalless stalemate at Easter Road the previous evening.

Brendan Rodgers’ holders booked their place with a 1-0 victory over St Johnstone in Perth and will take on Hearts, 4-2 winners over Motherwell at Tynecastle.

Dates for the Hampden semi-finals have been set for Saturday, October 27, and the following Sunday.

Police authorities will not allow two such big games to take place in Glasgow on the same day if the SPFL attempted to push the Saturday tie to a date 24 hours later.

One solution would be to switch the Saturday encounter  to Murrayfield and play it on Sunday.

Hearts were the first name out of the ballot to be followed by Celtic. Gerrard smiled: “The way I understood it was the first tie out of the draw plays on Saturday?

“Listen, whoever has to do that, it’s not fair on any team, having played on the Thursday night. I’ll be interested to see how they decide. All the best with that one.

YELLOW PERIL…Alfredo Morelos is out of semi-final against Aberdeen following double booking. Pic: Geo. 

“We’ll deal with that when we have to. I’m not sure how they will select who plays when or what the rules are.

“Whoever has to do it it won’t be fair as 48 hours is not enough.”

Gers marched into the semis after teenager Glenn Middleton marked his first start for the first team with a double while Nikola Katic and Alfredo Morelos claimed the others.

However, the Colombian frontman was booked after aiming a verbal blast at referee Bobby Madden – and as he had already had a previous caution, he is now ruled out of the tie against the Dons.

With Kyle Lafferty Cup-tied, it leaves Gerrard with only third-choice striker Umar Sadiq.

The Govan gaffer added: “I can understand Alfredo getting frustrated as I thought it was a foul on him.  The ref said that their player got the ball cleanly, but I disagree.

“It’s a frustration – we lose a player in form and we are going to have to find a way to get the job done without a natural nine unless Sadiq comes to the party and improves an awful lot between now and then.”

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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